Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reviews: Gathering Storm

In order to paint a picture of what kind of books I'm going to be reading and why, I think it might be helpful to do a bit of retrospective of what books I've read thus far and what I got from them. So over the next couple weeks I'll post a few reviews a day. I'll be culling these reviews from my page, with minor contexual tweaks.

The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time, #12; A Memory of Light, #1)

(Yes, this is a terrible, terrible book cover.)

The first one is the most recent volume of Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series, The Wheel of Time. Jordan died two years ago, and so the 13th volume had to be completed by a stand-in, Brandon Sanderson, and supervised by Jordan's wife and editor, Harriet. The Gathering Storm debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and fortunately lived up to the hype.

I was very happy to delve back into this incredibly detailed world to find an amazing new-and-almost-final volume of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. The latter 5-6 books of the series started to lag, and when each book runs 600+ pages, that begins to be noticeable rather quickly. When the author writing this enormous epic series dies before the series ends, it should be even more noticeable.

But hats off to Robert Jordan's editor (and amazing wife) Harriet and her choice to finish the series, Brandon Sanderson. This could have been bad. Like really bad. Like worse than the worst of the last 5 books. But it wasn't. Sanderson is able to find Jordan's voice so well that it's pretty much indistinguishable which parts had been completed by Jordan and which parts Brandon handled. He was also able to wrap up an amazing amount of loose ends, even for 700+ pages. He did this without seeming too hand-holding.

Sadly, fantasy authors are so verbose that there are still two more volumes of this last volume of the series. 20 years later, we'll finally know what happens. Happily, I still can't wait to find out what happens.

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